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18 Tips for Successful Google Apps Migration & Change Management


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Is your company migrating to Google Apps? Google gurus weigh in on how to grow Google Apps adoption in your organization.

Published in: Software
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18 Tips for Successful Google Apps Migration & Change Management

  1. 1. TIP 12 18 Tips for successful Google Apps migration & change management Google gurus weigh in on how to grow Google Apps adoption in your organization (now part of )
  2. 2. Google Apps migration = serious change management at your organization
  3. 3. Prepare the soil Organizational transformation starts at the top
  4. 4. TIP 1 We have a set of email communications that go out at specific times outlining the change, but the first one should always come from someone as high up in the organization as possible – the CIO or CEO preferably. That immediately eliminates it being labeled an ‘IT Project.’ If the CEO communicates that you are moving to Google Apps, that’s a statement. That tells everyone “this is serious”. Fintan Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder, Damson Cloud
  5. 5. Plant the right seeds Communication is crucial along the way
  6. 6. TIP 2 What we always do is identify the current internal communication methods the organization is using, and analyze how well these work for them. Based on this, we may then recommend other channels for them to use, which we think would have a higher engagement rate with users. What is important is that we identify the value in keeping everyone in the organization informed, as we believe this leads to a more successful implementation when the users feel involved and part of the process. Andrew Martin, Director of Sales, Netpremacy
  7. 7. TIP 3 Communication is crucial. You need to create a positive atmosphere around the initiative to minimize negative chatter. Develop key messages and create collateral for your campaign. Create an “elevator” speech about why the organization is moving to Google Apps. Develop a marketing plan with a consistent, positive message and sell it every chance you get.
  8. 8. Tending a huge “Google Apps” garden can be daunting Take small steps
  9. 9. TIP 4 People are very personal about the look and feel of their software. They’re very connected to that. Going to full Google Apps right away was going to disrupt their workflow too much. I found that email and calendar were separate pieces that really could be extracted from the environment. This allowed us to still have department drives and shared drives and slowly move our way as the benefits became clearer to use Google Apps. We’re heading down that path. Doug Perry, IT Manager, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
  10. 10. TIP 5 The key is to find the right balance between minimizing the time where different users are on different systems, but also making sure that everyone feels supported throughout the transition. Andrew Martin, Director of Sales, Netpremacy
  11. 11. Your garden won’t grow overnight The right training strategy makes the transition smoother
  12. 12. TIP 6 We did a video training series that dives into each aspect of Google Apps. These were recorded through Google Hangouts and published internally for later training sessions. Subsequent new features are announced via Google+ as well as through our internal intranet. Tim Dickson, Director of Technology, Auberge Resorts
  13. 13. TIP 7 Another effective addition to a training program is to create a training website. This is a great way to promote all the training content you’ve developed. Add videos where people can brush up on the basics. This is a good place to add a training calendar where users can click on a particular training course, get information about it, and sign up. Add a link to your home page to drive traffic to the training site.
  14. 14. TIP 8 I do a monthly tips and tricks piece and many of them don’t come from Google. I’ll pick something that’s very practical. As an example, the most recent one was about a feature that allows Gmail to automatically email your daily agenda to you every morning. Doug Perry, IT Manager, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
  15. 15. TIP 9 We find that providing regular tips and further updates is key. As Google is constantly updated and new applications are developed, users need to understand that their learning path will never end, and they will always continue to be able to find new ways of working. Encouraging a culture of information and tip sharing internally within an organization is vital to ensure that users continue to learn and embrace the idea of collaboration. Andrew Martin, Director of Sales, Netpremacy
  16. 16. Get your hands “dirty” in the Google Apps soil Keep the Google Apps migration fresh and interesting
  17. 17. TIP 10 You want to make it fun. There’s a little bit of Googliness to it, but it helps you take it from an ‘IT Thing’ to more of an introduction to new technology to the business. Show them they’ll be able to do Hangouts and be better able to communicate with staff and customers. It should be exciting and transformational. Fintan Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder, Damson Cloud
  18. 18. TIP 11 Use Google Guides. One of the keys to the success of a Google Apps implementation is to develop a core group of committed Google Guides. These are specially selected people – many times volunteers – who will serve as your on-the-floor ambassadors, counselors, advocates, trainers, and your front line of support.
  19. 19. TIP 12 We did Google Advocates Training. Each department nominated a Google Advocate who would do deep training with myself on all aspects of Google Apps. They would then be the primary point of contact within the department to help push the department as a whole forward. Tim Dickson, Director of Technology, Auberge Resorts
  20. 20. Weed aggressively Make a clean break from your old system
  21. 21. TIP 13 Making a clean break with your old system is the first step in heading off negativity. Trying to run two systems at the same time will only cause confusion and breed more resistance.
  22. 22. TIP 14 It’s a challenge and you will get resistance, but having a clear cutoff is definitely good. We’ve had customers that have done it in batches with some users on one system and others on another. That doesn’t work as well. Google calls the single day rollout a Global Go Live date. We call it the Big Bang Rollout. That’s definitely the most successful. The least amount of time you have employees on multiple systems the better. Fintan Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder, Damson Cloud
  23. 23. The sweet smell of success is coming Patience is key when addressing concerns and challenges
  24. 24. TIP 15 I committed to meet with each department as a group personally both before and after the implementation. It really helped mitigate any resentment, fear, and anxiety. It helped me as well. I knew what the big takeaways were going to be as a result of that training. Doug Perry, IT Manager, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
  25. 25. TIP 16 I ran a customized Google training session where I went around the room and asked everyone to give me the top three things they wanted to know. I listed them on a white board and trained them on all those things. They completely converted and now they’re probably the most positive group in the company. It was all about training and communication. Fintan Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder, Damson Cloud
  26. 26. TIP 17 Each year we met with the General Managers to show the advantages of a given feature of Google Apps. I did a one hour presentation showing the improvements that could be made with Google Apps vs. our current way of doing things. Then each GM brought up an idea. We started with buy in at the top of each location. Tim Dickson, Director of Technology, Auberge Resorts
  27. 27. Display the beauty of your Google Apps garden Share the success
  28. 28. TIP 18 Google stresses celebrating success along the way. Here’s how: • Have your executive sponsor send a message describing the success of the deployment. Explain the progress made toward achieving the project goals. • Recognize the contributions of your project team and the Google Guides through email or a post on the intranet. • Reward users who have embraced Google Apps. Set up a contest to come up with the most innovative new uses of Google Apps. • Reinforce your Google Apps vision. Reuse your original marketing campaign tying it to the successes achieved.
  29. 29. Stay vigilant and keep focused! Good luck in your Google Apps migration from our Google gurus Fintan Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder, Damson Cloud Doug Perry, IT Manager, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Tim Dickson, Director of Technology, Auberge Resorts Andrew Martin, Director of Sales, Netpremacy
  30. 30. Migrating to Google Apps? Download the eBook “Growing Google Apps” and learn how to increase Google Apps adoption at your organization Growing Google Apps How to Increase Google Adoption in Your Organization (now part of )